The John O’Shea trained Souchez is set to take on speedy local filly Tiyatrolani in the Group 2 $175,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday.
O’Shea rates Souchez up among the best two year olds this season in the Godolphin stable and the Lonhro colt is resuming from a spell following his win in the Group 2 $175,000 Cafe Culture + Insitu Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 12.
“He was clearly among our best two-year-olds but I thought he’d benefit from being taken along a bit more conservatively,” O’Shea said.
“This is a nice race for him, he’s drawn a good gate and he’s had a nice trial, so I’m looking forward to seeing him show us the same sort of ability he’d shown us in his earlier preparation.”
Souchez is currently marked at $5 for the Champagne Classic at Ladrokes.com.au who have Tony Gollan’s filly Tiyatrolani as the short priced favourite at $2.45.
Tiyatrolani is undefeated from her two race starts after scoring by seven and a half lengths in an 1100m Ipswich Maiden on April 15 followed by an explosive four and a quarter lengths all the way win in an 1110m two year old Plate at Doomben on April 30.
Tegan Harrison will again be aboard Tiyatrolani who is certain to explode out of barrier one again but Jason Collett on Souchez will no doubt keep the Tony Gollan trained filly in his sights from barrier two.
Souchez has shown in the past that he also has plenty of early speed after leading at both his Sydney Autumn Carnival starts which saw him run third to Good Standing in the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 27 prior to winning the Pago Pago Stakes.
The Kelso Wood trained Nikitas is also set to kick off his Winter Carnival campaign and is marked at $6 alongside of last start Sunshine Coast winner Winning Rupert.
Champagne Classic market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.45 Tiyatrolani, $5 Souchez, $6 Winning Rupert, Nikitas, $9.50 Candika, $17 Dreams Aplenty, $18 Crack Me Up, $20 Attention, $21 Earth, $126 Endless Days.